Washington Huskies Football 2011: What We Learned in Week 1
It took a game-winning interception for the Washington Huskies to escape from the reigning FCS National Champion Eagles of Eastern Washington.
Quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell picked apart the secondary on his was to 473 yards passing on 39 completions.
First thing that jumped out at me was the lack of a pass rush. Mitchell dropped back to pass 69 times and was only sacked once the entire game. Now I realize that Mitchell was getting the ball out of his hands in under four seconds, however, the Huskies were not getting any push whatsoever against a offensive line that has no player over 300 pounds.
On the offensive side, Washington had its ups and downs. The good things were that they spread the ball around very well and Chris Polk did a fantastic job rushing just two weeks after his knee surgery. Spreading the ball around can turn into a double-edged sword at some times.
With all of Washington's talented freshman such as wide receiver Kasen Williams and tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, they should be able to get the ball to them a lot more. Seferian-Jenkins had one catch for 10 yards in the early first quarter and never saw another ball the rest of the game. That catch came out to be the longest reception of the game. 10 yards.
Keith Price has proven he can lead this team, however, throwing the ball 25 times and only managing 102 yards is a bit surprising. He had several balls batted down due to his lack of size. He did have more than several catchable balls dropped by a handful of receivers.
Do the Huskies beat Hawaii?
Jermaine Kearse left in the first half after suffering a mild ankle sprain that kept him out the rest of the game. It was reported that Kearse repeatedly asked to be put back in but the coaches said no. His injury is far from serious and he should be ready next Saturday when the Huskies take on Hawaii.
As far as the secondary goes, I think the Huskies missed Quinton Richardson more than they had planned. Redshirt freshman Gregory Ducre started and played most of the game until being knocked out with an injury and was sidelined the rest of the game. Desmond Trufant did get the last laugh with the game-saving interception, however, he allowed at least 15 receptions.
The Huskies allowed too many big plays, especially on third and long situations and even on fourth down. The defense needs to progress as the season goes on or they will have a tough time winning come Pac-12 play.
Next week's game against Hawaii won't be too much different as far as the passing game goes. I can see the Warriors throwing 50 plus times. Bryant Moniz is a great player who led the nation in passing yards last year. If the Huskies let Bo Levi Mitchell throw for 473 yards in this game, Moniz is more than capable of putting up the same stats.
The Huskies won the war in this game, but definitely lost the battle. Washington has a lot of things to work on and iron out for the next game if they want to come out on top.
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